In recent years, RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as an effective method to target specific genes for silencing. Several groups are actively exploring the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) for therapeutic applications to treat cancer. Our previous studies have demonstrated the inhibition of various proteases, including serine proteases, cysteine proteases and matrix metalloproteases, via RNA interference (RNAi) in gliomas. Similar to gliomas, malignant meningiomas also exhibit elevated protease levels in comparison to normal brain and benign meningiomas. Here, we used siRNA to simultaneously target urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor, uPAR. A human CMV promoter-driven mammalian expression vector (pU2) was used to produce hairpin double-stranded RNA (hp RNA) to target uPA and uPAR. As determined by Western blotting and fibrin zymography, pU2 effectively inhibited uPAR protein levels and uPA enzymatic activity in meningioma cells (IOMM-Lee). In vitro studies (Matrigel invasion and spheroid migration) revealed reduced meningioma cell invasion and migration. Intratumoral injections of the plasmid vector expressing siRNA for uPA and uPAR resulted in regression of pre-established, subcutaneous tumors in mice. In addition, in vivo studies of mice injected with pU2-transfected meningioma cells revealed inhibition of intracranial tumor formation. These findings suggest that siRNA can be used as a potent and specific therapeutic tool for the treatment of malignant meningiomas in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research